There are few more shameful confessions to make than
that we are lonely.
The basic assumption is that no respectable person
could ever feel isolated
unless maybe they’ve just moved country
or been widowed.
Yet in truth a high degree of lonelyness
is an inexorable part
of being a sensitive, intelligent human.
Its a built-in feature of a complex existence
there are several big reasons for this.
Much of what we need recognized
and confirmed by others,
a lot of what would it be extremely comforting to share,
is going to be disturbing to society at large.
Many of the ideas in the recesses of our minds
是太奇怪 对立 微妙 或者令人担忧
are too odd, contrary, subtle or alarming
to be safely revealed to anyone else.
We face a choice between honesty and acceptability
mostly choose the latter.
It takes a lot of energy to listen to another person
and enter sympathetically into their experiences.
We shouldn’t blame others for their failure to focus
on who we are,
they may want to meet us
but we should accept the energy
with which they would keep the topic of their own lives
at the center of the conversation.
We must all die alone
which really means that our pain
is for us alone to endure,
other can throw us words of ancouragment
but in every life we are out on the ocean
drowning in the swell and others,
even the nice ones,
are standing on the shore,
It´s deeply unlikely that we would ever find someone
on exactly the same page of the soul as us.
We would long for utter congruity
but it would be constant dissonance
because we appeared on the earth at different times
are the product of different families and expiriences
and are not just made of quite the same fabric.
So, they won´t be thinking just the same as us
on comming out of the cinema
and looking out of the night sky
just when we want them to say something high-flown and beautiful
they will perhaps be remembering a painfully banal
untimely detail from an area of domestic life,
It is almost comic.
We will almost certainly never meet the people
best qualified to understand us
but they do exist,
probably they once walked pass us in the street
but neither os us has the slightest idea
of the potential for connection.
Or maybe they died in Sydney two weeks ago
or wouldn´t be born until the 22nd century.
It isn´t a conspiracy
we would just have needed a lot more luck.
The problem is sure to get worse
the more thoughtful and perceptive we are
there will simply be less people like us around
it isn’t a romantic myth
loneliness trully is a kind of tax we have to pay
to atone for certain complexity of mind.
The desire to undress someone
is for a long time far more urgent
than the desire for good conversation.
And so, we end up locked in relationships with certain people
we don’t have much to say to
because we were once fatefully interested
in the shape of their nose
or the color of their remarkable eyes
And yet, despite all of this
we shouldn’t be frightened or discomforted by a pervasive loneliness.
At an exasperated moment near the end of his life
the german writer Goethe
who appeared to have had a lot of friends
“No one has ever properly understood me,”
“I had never fully understood anyone.”
“No one understands anyone else.”
It was a helpful outburst
from such a great man
it isn’t our fault
a degree of distance and mutual incomprehension
it isn’t a sign that life has gone wrong
it is what we should expect from the very start
and when we do, benefits can follow.
Once we accept loneliness we can get creative,
we can start to send out messages in a bottle,
we can sing, write poetry,
produce books and blogs,
activities steaming from the realization
that people around us won’t ever fully get us,
but that others separated across time and space
The history of art is the record of people
who couldnt find anyone in the vicinity to talk to
and we can take up the coded offer of their intimacy
in say the words of a Roman poet who died in X b.c.
or the lyrics of a singer who described just our blues
in a recording from Nashville in 1963.
Loneliness makes us more capable of true intimacy
if ever better opportunities do come along
it heightens the conversation we have we ourselves
it give us a character.
We don’t repeat what everyone else thinks,
we develope a point of view
we might be isolated for now
but we will be capable of far closer
more interesting bonds
with anyone we do eventually locate.
Loneliness renders us elegant and strangely alluring
it suggests there’s more about us to understand
that the normal patterns of social intercourse can accommodate.
which is something we can take pride in
a sense of isolation truly is as we suspect
but usually prevent ourselves from feeling,
from fear of arrogance
a sign of depth.
When we admit our loneliness
we are signing up to a club that includes the people we know
from the paints of Edward Hooper,
the poems of Baudelaire,
the songs of Leonard Cohen.
Lonely we enter we enter a long and grand tradition,
we find ourselves surprisingly in great company.
Enduring loneliness is almost invariably better
than suffering the compromises of false community.
Loneliness is simply a price we may have to pay
for holding onto a sincere, ambitious view
of what companionship
must and could be.